I have never done a throw back Thursday blog post, but as I was searching through my you tube videos looking for something for a friend of mine I stumbled upon the video of my first outdoor sprint triathlon! I thought this might be a good way to start this ripple effect post. Keep in mind my video making skills have improved a great deal, my transition times have improved drastically, too! None the less take a look.
I chose to write about this today, because let’s face it. If it weren’t for JT’s inspirational life and encouragement from people like my family and Kathy I probably never even would have let the words triathlon squeak out of my mouth or even remotely considered becoming an athlete. Kathy was a huge supporter to me in this journey in 2012! She cheered me on via Facebook with each workout I completed. ME, a former overweight couch potato, became an athlete. Why? I remember thinking if JT came from little old Rockford and did the things he did then why can’t I do a little old triathlon. Then I remember starting to make excuses in my head of why I COULDN’T do a triathlon. More recently when I said I was going to do 4 hours of Zumba I started second guessing myself. I started thinking of reason why it might not work or reasons I COULDN’T do it.
Sitting here typing this I am beyond excited that I made that split second decision to crush those excuses and push the publish button on Schmitt Fitness Zumba Super Sunday to support the Tumilson’s. Why? As I type, the story that appeared on the Globe Gazette has been shared 932 times, there has already been $2,000 given to the youcaring fund and it is growing, and I have a inbox full of messages from people that want more information on the event. (If you are planning to attend the event on Super Bowl Sunday, please fill out this form.)
I call this the ripple, just imagine that you through a pebble into the water and it caused several ripples and chain reactions to occur…JT was killed in action. It was devastating for anyone that knew JT. There was an outpouring of love and support for the Tumilson’s, JT story was told hundreds of times, we all learned and read books about the Navy Seals to get a glimpse into what JT may have done. Our community is now more educated than ever before in our troops! This social media frenzy continued through Facebook and followers flooded the Tumilson family with love and support the best way they could with virtual hugs, relationships built, and connections made. The statue was built in Rockford in honor of Jon and will stand proud and strong for many years to come!
Joy’s husband, Scott, is diagnosed with cancer. There are thousands, upon thousands of people praying for them and circling the wagons on the prayer chains because of the 50,000 plus people following the JT Facebook Page. Scott and Joy’s family probably had thousands of prayers going up for them each night because of JT. And now, Kathy is diagnosed with cancer, those thousands of followers rallied on the Facebook page once again to send prayers and virtual hugs, keep in mind many of these people have never even met her in person. Then on Wednesday night the article was published about the event and within hours it was being shared, over the course of 4 hours I watched the number of times that article was shared climb from 61 to 510 shares! That is amazing! This is the ripple my friends, for me is started with that silly old triathlon and now it is so much more. My heart is full and I am in awe of how wonderful people are and their generosity is just contagious! I am amazed at how this ripple continues and am forever grateful to those of you that have help spread the word in support of the Tumilson family.
So again on Sunday I will be doing a marathon of Zumba Fitness, if you will, it will be tough, if you have been to my Zumba Fitness classes you know it’s no joke so 4 hours is going to be extremely tough. My plan is to crush any excuses that pop into my head remembering that there are a whole lot of other people in this world suffering a lot more than me and that if Kathy was on Facebook seeing a post about it she would type something like, “Way to crush it, Jen!”
God Bless You All and I encourage you to…